Friday, October 17, 2014

YAB Teens are talking about parties.

Homecoming season, halloween and holiday parties are in full swing.  What really goes on, how teens handle the pressure, and how schools, the community and parents can help.

Q.  What is the teen party scene like right now?  Are there a lot of parties?  Are they big or smaller gatherings?  What’s the general trend?

Teens Answer:

  • Usually parties are held in the basement at someone’s house.  Sometimes parents are home, sometimes not.  Normally there are around 20 people to a party.
  • The party scene right now seems like smaller situations at one person’s house – usually in the basement.  Halloween, homecoming and holiday parties are all going to be happening.
  • Parties at my school tend to run once or twice p month.  Usually the person will step up and use their house to throw a “banger”.  Anywhere from 50-hundreds of kids could show up. 
  • There are a fair amount of parties.  They are usually smaller, no more than 30 people.
  • There are a few big parties every once in a while, but when people party I think it tends to be smaller groups.
Q. what typically happens at parties?  Is there more drinking?  Is there other drug use?
Teens Answer:

  • There is usually alcohol present.  Smoking marijuana or cigarettes happens but it’s kept to a minimum.
  • Usually there is more drinking at parties.  However it is not uncommon to find marijuana or cigarettes as well.
  • At most parties there is usually drinking.  There is also some smoking -- weed, cigarettes and usually hookah.
  • Usually alcohol and marijuana are present.  There is also music and dancing as well.
  • Drinking or smoking at parties usually depends on your friend group.  Most groups don’t.
  • I’ve never heard of drug us at bigger parties.  I think that tends to happen in smaller groups.  A lot of people drink at parties.
  • There is generally more drinking.  And then in some smaller situations, more hookah and some smoking.
Q. Do you feel pressured if there is drinking and drug use going on?  How does it make you feel in the moment?  And please tell us how you cope with it?
Teens Answer:

  • There is not much pressure.  You can usually just say that you have to drive and most people will understand.  Sometimes in the moment it can look fun but in the end, I know that there are consequences.
  • If I find there is drinking or drugs going on at a party I usually decide to leave.  Drinking can be pressuring and you have to be able to be strong and make the right decision.
  • I don’t feel pressured because you can always say you are the designated driver.  In the moment it usually feels harder to make the right decision because it looks fun and you don’t want to be “left out”.   But, you also know the consequences.
  • Pressure is somewhat common and a person just has to stand up and say they do not want to -- so a peer would back-off.
  • Peer pressure doesn’t apply to me, if I know I shouldn’t be doing something.
  • I don’t really feel pressured, but I do worry for other kids’ (who are drinking or doing drugs) future.
  • I don’t feel pressured to drink.  Personally I don’t like to see people drinking.  It’s not necessary because you can still have fun without drinking.  I would leave the party if there was drinking.
  • I don’t feel pressured, but I’m sure other people do that are not as set on not drinking. 
Q. Do you think parents are aware of what’s happening when there are parties with drinking and drug use?
Teens Answer:

  • Some parents may be aware.  It depends on the situation and how close the student is to their parents.
  • Most parents don’t know about drinking or drugs happening at parties.  But, a surprising amount do know, and some even condone it.
  • Some parents know what is happening and are okay with it.  Other seem to be oblivious.  Some are indifferent.
  • Parents talk amongst themselves and are aware there is smoking and drinking, but they don’t seem to know what to do or how to stop it.
  • I don’t think most parents are aware.
  • I think parents are definitely aware, but some just don’t care.
  • I think some parents know about what goes on at parties but I also think kids are getting more clever with finding out ways to work around it.
Q. What do you think could be done by the schools, parents or the community about parties?
Teens Answer:

  • Parents should be more open to discussing the facts/consequences of drinking and smoking with their students.  They need to let their kids know that in any emergency situation, it is OK to call them.
  • They need to be educating the teens on the consequences of making bad choices.  Some kids are under the impression that they’re invincible, which just isn’t true.
  • They can let teens know that there are other options instead of parties and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that there are still many teens who don’t make those choices.
  • I don’t think schools could do much but parents could be more strict and aware of what goes on in order to stop it.
  • Students need to know what can possibly happen and more importantly, they need to care.  So, show them what might happen if they drink or do drugs.
  • Schools can inform kids by continuing to stress the negative effects.
  • Schools could set stricter rules related to parties and enforce them more.
Q. What is your influence to be drug-free?
Teens Answer:

  • My future!
  • My family, my friends and my future.
  • I’ve seen how it has impacted others’ lives in negative ways.  I know the physical consequences and legal consequences as well, and it just isn’t worth it.  My future, college, sports, family and church community, are all my influences to be drug-free.
  • I stay drug-free in order to not get in trouble with my parents and to stay healthy.
  • I have a cousin that sadly got addicted to drugs as a teenager and is now struggling to hold a job.  I want to be able to help people.
  • My goals.  I always keep my goals in mind and I don’t want anything related to drugs or alcohol to negatively affect my future.
  • I really do not like the effects on the body.  You have no self-control and cannot control what is going on.
  • My future – because I do not want one decision to affect my career and college experience.  Poor decisions may follow you for the rest of your life.